Q. Where’s the catch: what do I pay?
A. There is no catch. We take the financial risk and undertake all of the work from conception to completion. There will be some disturbance during the on-site works, but we aim to minimise those. Once the penthouses are sold the profit will be shared in line with our agreement.
Q. How long does planning permission usually take?
A. The planning process is challenging and requires a great deal of input from various specialist consultants. Typically it takes between 4-12 months.
Q. How will the new penthouse contribute to the service charge?
A. Depending on the leases within the building the penthouse will generally contribute on a pro-rata basis, helping reduce the overall service charge costs per flat.
Q. If the entrance hall and common parts are refurbished as part of the penthouse project, what will be the impact on my property value?
A. Refurbished entrance halls and common parts improve the general environment of a property. On every project we have undertaken these works have had a positive impact on property values throughout the building.
Q. How long does a typical project take once planning permission has been secured?
A. Typically between 8-18 months with the on-site works taking 4-6 months. The remainder of time is spent undertaking extremely detailed design and preparing the modules in our Swedish facility.
Q. How long will the on-site works take?
A. Between 4-6 months depending on the project. To compare, this is approximately 50-75% less than traditional construction.
Q. If we proceed how often will I be contacted and updated?
A. As little or as much as you would like to be. We take resident liaison very seriously and during the on-site works provide weekly updates on notice boards and group emails.
Q. Why should I talk to First Penthouse when I can undertake the project myself?
A. You could undertake the project yourself but penthouse development is extremely involved with a high degree of engineering and specialist design input. We remove the financial risk and hassle for you.
Q. Can our property take the additional weight of the new structure?
A. This is a fundamental consideration and one we assess at the earliest stage. We only undertake projects where the structural integrity has been confirmed by an experienced structural engineer.
Q. What happens if the structural engineer First Penthouse appoint doesn’t think our property can take the additional load?
A. The project will simply not go ahead with us. We will cover the cost of the structural report and move onto the next project.
Q. What building improvements are usually part of the project?
A. A brand new roof is a bi-product of the project, but typically works to the entrance hall and common parts are also included.
Q. If we want to do wider works to the building can these be undertaken during the project?
A. Yes, it often makes sense for wider works to be undertaken to the building at the same time as the penthouse project.
Q. We have a lift, will this need to be extended to penthouse level?
A. To achieve the optimum value for the penthouses it is necessary to extend the lift to penthouse level.
Q. Should it be necessary how long will any lift works take?
A. We appreciate the inconvenience works to the lift can cause and make every effort to minimise the period when the lift is out of the action. We provide as much notice as possible, but typically the lift can be out of action for 6-12 weeks.
Q. Water, gas, electricity, boilers, tanks; will these be affected?
A. Normally we bring up new risers to the roof so that services to existing flats will remain unaffected. In most circumstances the extension will have its own heating system, especially if existing boilers do not have enough capacity. If any existing tanks, if in the way, they will be renewed.
Q. Will we have blanket scaffolding covering our property for 12-24 months?
A. No, unlike traditional construction blanket scaffolding is not necessary. Typically we will only need scaffolding at parapet level.
Q. I live on the existing top floor and don’t want to be disturbed by noise from the new penthouse
A. The modules will rest on a steel sub-structure with a 300-500mm void between the existing roof and new penthouse floor. As a result there will be no noise transfer to the existing top floor flats.